Panchayat Samiti (Block)
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Mandals, taluka panchayats, block panchayats, or panchayat samiti are rural local governments (panchayats) at the intermediate level in panchayat raj institutions (PRI).
- District (or apex) level
- Intermediate level
- Base level
They operate at the tahsil (taluka) level and govern the villages of the tahsil that together are called a development block. The Panchayat Samiti is the link between the gram panchayat (village council) and the zila parishad (district board). They name varies across states, e.g., Mandal Praja Parishad in Andhra Pradesh, Taluka Panchayat in Gujarat, and Mandal Panchayat in Karnataka.
Typically, a panchayat samiti is composed of elected members of the area, the Block Development Officer, otherwise unrepresented groups (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women), associate members (such as a farmer, a representative of the cooperative societies and one from the agricultural marketing services sector) and the elected members of that panchayat block (tehsil) on the zila parishad (district board).
The samiti is elected for five years and is headed by a chairman and deputy chairman elected by the members of the panchayat samiti. One Sarpanch Samiti supervises the other grampanchayats.
Composition of mandal parishads
A coterminous Mandal Parishad is constituted for each revenue Mandal. A Mandal Parishad is composed of:
- Mandal Parishad Territorial constituency members.
- Members of the Legislative Assembly having jurisdiction over the Mandal.
- Members of the House of people having jurisdiction over the Mandal.
- Members of the council of States who are voters in the Mandal.
- One co-opted member, belonging to minorities.
Mandal Parishad Territorial constituency (MPTC) members are directly elected by the voters, whereas, the Mandal President is elected by the MPTC members. The members are elected for a term of five years. The election to MPTC s is done on a party basis. The elections are conducted by the State election commission.
The Sarpanches are permanent invitees to the Mandal Parishad meetings.
The most common departments found in a panchayat samiti are:
- Public works (especially water and roads)
- Social welfare
- Information Technology
- Women & Child Development
- Panchayat raj ( Mandal Praja Parishad )
Each department in a panchayat samiti has its own officer. Most often these are state government employees acting as extension officers, but occasionally in more revenue-rich panchayat samiti, they may be local employees. A government-appointed block development officer (BDO) is the supervisor of the extension officers and executive officer to the panchayat samiti and becomes, in effect, its administrative chief.
The Panchayat Samiti collects all the prospective plans prepared at Gram Panchayat level and processes them for funding and implementation by evaluating them from the angles of financial constraints, social welfare and area development. It also identifies and prioritises the issues that need to be addressed at block level.
Sources of income
- land and water use taxes, professional taxes, liquor taxes and others
- income generating programmes
- grants-in-aid and loans from the State Government and the local zila parishad
- voluntary contributions
For many panchayat samiti the main source of income is state aid. For others, the traditional taxing function provides the bulk of revenues. Tax revenues are often shared between the gram panchayats and the panchayat samiti.
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